Fan Wen (b.1962), a devout Catholic himself, spent ten years traveling through Tibet. The result is a trilogy of highly-acclaimed historical novels, of which CANTICLE is the third and last book. The ﬁrst volume, HARMONIOUS LAND (2004), explores the fascinating and largely unknown history of French Catholic missionaries in Tibet. It has sold over 100,000 copies and was nominated for both the Mao Dun Award and “The Dream of the Red Chamber” Award, the highest honors in Chinese-language literature. The second book, COMPASSIONATE LAND (2006), chronicles an ordinary man’s transformation from mortal to tulku (Living Buddha), with a heavy dose of magic realism. It was nominated for the Chinese Literature Media Award for best novel, along with books by authors such as Li Rui and Yan Geling.
In CANTICLE TO THE LAND, Fan Wen continues the dialogue between religions, ethnicity, and cultures, but the theme becomes more intimate: that of romantic love. He describes this book as “a story about a love saved by faith, and a fate transformed by love.” It was chosen as one of the ten best books of 2010 by Sina.com, and is the only literary novel on the list. Each novel in the trilogy stands alone, and critics and readers agree that CANTICLE is the most compelling and accessible of the three.